With Update 24 rapidly approaching, we want to give everyone an idea of the changes in store for combat and abilities. There will of course be highly detailed patch notes when the PTS hits with developer comments, but this post covers the broader themes from the update.
The combat changes in Update 24 are more narrow in focus than those we made with the ability audit in Update 22 and 23. Out of that audit came a few things laying under rocks for a while that came to surface, which we are addressing in Update 24 (mainly Damage over Time abilities). We are also looking to address feedback regarding Wardens, Sorcerers, and Dragonknights specifically in the realm of identity.
First off, let’s talk about Damage over Time (DoT) abilities. In Update 23, we made changes to “over time” abilities to make them more competitive and align to a numerical standard. This resulted in more variety in builds compared to Update 22. However, it’s swung the pendulum a bit too far in the other direction. As we’ve stated before, our audit pass doesn’t mean our numbers are engraved in stone, and this is a case where we missed the mark and are looking to correct that. In Update 24, we will be pulling back on the power of Damage over Time abilities, but not Heal over Time abilities. This will reign in some of the damage we’re seeing in PVP, but should not inhibit the completion of trials, dungeons, and arenas. We’ve also adjusted our standards of Area of Effect-based DoTs to once again do similar damage to single target counterparts, but with a much greater cost.
With the Necromancer, we achieved a very clear identity throughout their class kit. You all have expressed strong desires for other classes to get updates to match that identity and we are listening! In Update 24 we are giving Dragonknights, Wardens, and Sorcerers several updates to reinforce class identity, and in some cases, grant new gameplay options. We do plan on having a more in-depth pass at all classes in the future, but for now, we wanted to make a few changes to abilities that didn’t have enough function to their kit beyond “this ability just does damage”. Ultimately, we want to make sure class abilities have good usage cases and bring something extra. For example, Warden’s Dive ability was either Magicka or Stamina based, and that was it. We’re adding a secondary effect of putting enemies off balance when hitting enemies further than 12 meters away. It’s these types of adjustments we’re looking to add to classes as a whole to bring more identity and functionality without heavy reliance on skill lines outside of their class kit.
Lastly in Update 24, we are adding several quality of life additions. Major and Minor buffs will now display what they actually do instead of just displaying their name in your character sheet or on your gear. Sprint and Mount Sprint are now handled by the server more efficiently. You will notice that your stamina bar will drain gradually instead of in chunks, and functionality will remain basically the same; we lowered the cost of Sprint, and fixed an old bug where you could sprint infinitely after mounting. These changes are part of a larger effort to reduce the amount of information the ability system has to handle in combat. We are looking to do more passes like this to Block, Roll Dodge and Sneak in the future.
That wraps up the bigger picture of changes coming in Update 24! Remember, this post is not all encompassing and along with all of the above, there will be many bug fixes which will be in full detail in the patch notes.
ESO PVP Lead & Combat Lead